Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP, led staff of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization in planting several trees in support of the Green Ghana project, in Accra on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Addressing the media after the tree planting exercise, she noted that, “when the last tree dies, the last man dies, because the trees soak up the carbon dioxide we produce when we breath and give us oxygen. And we need that oxygen to breath healthy air. So without the trees, our very survival as human species is threatened.”
“Through human activities, we have destroyed a lot of the vegetative cover in our country. We have destroyed our forest and our green surroundings. We created the problem, now… we can be part of the solution,” She said.
Madam Owusu-Ekuful, stressed that, “the Ministry of Communication and Digitisation partly support the green Ghana project that the Ministry of Lands and Forestry is undertaking today. And in our own small way, we are helping plants some of the 5 million trees that we intend to plant today. We believe that even the work we do is dependent on it. I have charged the Kofi Annan ICT Centre to develop an application that will help monitor the health and growth of the trees, where you can login to see how the trees are doing.”
She therefore said, it is incumbent on all of us to nature the trees that we planted, take personal charge of them, water them and see that they are properly established and growing healthy with the application of a little manure and regular watering. “They will do well no matter where they are planted,” She stressed.
The Minister also said they planted some hard trees which could be use for timber in 10 to 20 years to come, with the hope that by then it would improve the vegetation cover in the country. Saying, “over 80% of which we have destroyed, so let us also contribute to resolving the problem.”
According to her, “We can also help protect the tree cover by reducing the amount of paper that we use and moving towards a more digital ways of communicating. Because you cut down about 24 trees to create one sheet of paper….just think about that! So if we continue to use paper in the volumes that we are currently using, we will be defeating the purpose of the tree planting that we are doing today.
So let us all resolve to use less paper in our workplaces and our homes as well, and protect our forest and the volume of trees that need to be cut down to produce the paper that we use.”
The Communications Minister further disclosed that, through digital platforms now, even checks are being replaced with digital financial services. So from that sector, the digital technology is assisting to reduced the number of paper that is use by sending emails and communicating on digital platforms. Adding that, “There is also a reduction in the amount of paper that is physically used in writing the copious letters that we write. So if we all act together, we will be working together to protect our environment.”
“And that is where we also come in by encouraging the uptake of digital technology to reduce the manual processes that we are engaged in. Everyone can play a part in our own small way and let separate the rubbish that we produce in our homes. The paper, glass, metals and organic, which can be used to produce manure to feed the trees that we are planting today, whereas the paper, glass and metals can all be recycled to produce other things that will be useful for us and if we do that, we reduce the amount of refuse that ends up in the landfill site and then the mountains and the environmental degradation and the poor sanitation will also be reduced,” said Madam Owusu-Ekuful.
She therefore emphasized that, there is a multiplier effect, that everyone should help in making Ghana greener and more environmentally friendly and sustainable than we are now, and by that, we protect our ecosystem.